First we all met up at Bob's for a nice barbecue. The kids were in costume, so occasionally we'd be distracted by Dementors and Death Eaters popping up over the fence. But the food was good and about 10:20 pm we walked through the beautiful Kenwood neighborhood and then around Lake of the Isles, over to the bookstore. Here we are, marching through the night, me pontificating -- apparently at somebody who is wearing an Invisibility Cloak.
As we approached the bookstore we seemed to become noncorporeal, like the ghosts that haunt Hogwarts. Here we are, as ghostly dancers.
Beware the house elf in Morris kit!
We danced a bit and then the kids team started to dance, at which point the police showed up because a neighbor had complained about the noise. It turns out the complaint had come before we had begun to dance, so it had nothing to do with an accordion this time. No, in fact the local neighborhood mean lady had been bothered by the sound of child shrieks at 9:30 pm on a summer Friday, shrieks inspired by a Harry Potter pinata somebody had brought. The police officer really did not want to make us stop dancing, but if there were more complaints he would have had to shut the whole gathering down so that was it for the evening's Morris.
You can't imagine how appalled I am by this. Yes, it's a residential neighborhood, but it is also very much a neighborhood celebration on a warm summer weekend night. It is a party that happens once every two years, and which will not happen again. The owner of the bookstore said that they know the woman who called, and that she is an older woman who never leaves her house and seems to have nothing of interest in her life other than complaining to the police about the neighbors. My one comfort in all of this is that this woman leads exactly the sort of life she deserves: outraged at the sounds of life and isolated from the other residents of a beautiful upscale neighborhood.
What could we do? So we went to the deli next door to the bookstore, which was staying open and selling a lot of ice cream, and I led the crowd in my "Train to Hogwarts" song:
There sure are a lot of verses:
This left us over an hour to hang around until the books could be distributed. Through a last-minute mixup it turned out that those of us who hadn't reserved books could not be guaranteed of getting one that night (unlike the previous events). But some of us stayed until the bitter end -- heading on to 1 am maybe? -- and did, in fact, snatch our copies.
Those of us who stayed to the end took a nice moonlit walk around the Lake and back to our cars.
I didn't actually start reading the book until the next afternoon.